03 October 2008


I made it home yesterday and am so glad to be here. It's still pretty surreal, but I'll get back into the real swing of things next week. Since this blog has been about my life in Brasil, I will no longer be posting on it, but will be posting here instead. A new phase, a new blog. Life after Brasil should prove to be pretty interesting....

27 September 2008

One last vacation

Mom is here, and we just got back from Minas Gerais last night. She, A, S, and I went, because we had to stay in that pousada one last time, and we had to go back to the pewter factory and the blanket city and that little restaurant we ate at when we went horseback riding.

Needless to say, I bought more pewter. And more blankets (and placemats and napkins). I bought a few wedding presents, some for weddings that aren't even on the radar. But my big purchase, my shining moment, was a rustic china cupboard that I fell in love with the moment I saw it. I am still in a bit of sticker shock, because I'm not used to buying furniture at full price (even with a 10% discount). My furniture has been picked up along the way at antique stores and yard sales. Pictures to come on the other blog.

21 September 2008


I was the honoree at a despedida (going-away party) yesterday with some of my fellow missionaries here in Rio. I am leaving Brasil in 10 days, and I am filled with bittersweet memories. This country that has been such a part of me is soon to be part of my past. But not too much in my past, because I am going home with memories and what others might call souvenirs. I received a real, official Brasilian flag that is about 5 feet by 3 feet, and I have added it to the huge pile that has to be packed. Here's a short list of those things that will continue to be a part of my life after October 1:
  • a coffee/tea/dessert service for six
  • two carved stone birds
  • two plates with super-size mugs for soup and bread (or that's what I'll be using them for)
  • several books
  • a double hammock
  • pewter goblets and candlesticks
  • pewter and crystal toasting flutes
  • a leather map of South America
  • a painting
  • the flag

I am slowly getting packed, most of which these days includes copious amounts of bubble wrap.

02 September 2008

Latest update

I know it’s been quite awhile since I last wrote, but that’s not because there hasn’t been anything going on around here. We’ve been super-busy, even during our weeks off.
We have had several teams, mostly medical. We have been to our annual mission meeting. We have started to make plans to close out the year. Two of my best friends have come to visit. My dad and brother have come to visit. My mom is coming at the end of September.
My most exciting news is this: I am engaged! D and I have been together for almost 3 years, and he asked me to marry him in July. Of course, I am now looking forward to going home much more than I was. Because of my visa (it expires October 15) and all the wedding plans that have to be made, I will be going home October 1. That means I will miss the last few teams, including the one I first came down with over 6 years ago.
As I look at closing this chapter in my life, I have been reflecting on all of the blessings He has given me (somehow, the hardships and sufferings have faded into the background). I met and have lived with AE, who has blessed me in so many ways. I have had the privilege of every member of my immediate family come and visit, some more than once. I have had several friends come to visit. I have had a love/hate relationship with this culture that is so foreign, yet so home. I have come to understand so much about how the Lord longs for us, and how He designed us to long for Him. If I had to pick one thing to share that I have learned over the past 6 years, it would be hard. So I will pick a few things that I am still learning. First, God is faithful. He always fulfills His promises, though it’s so often not in the ways we expect. Second, He is trustworthy to provide all that we need. Over the last 6 years, I have never been in want, even when I took a considerable salary cut. Third, He is sovereign. Everything that He allows us to pass through is for our good, and not for our harm. Even when it seems very different at the time.
Please continue to pray for R, S, and A, as they finish out the last month of teams and prepare to take the next step that God has for them. Pray for the teams as they come through, that God would show them Himself, and that they may show His love in the areas they minister to. Continue to pray for the Brazilian people, that God would give them eyes to see Him and hearts that desire Him.
For He alone is worthy.

18 August 2008

*SIGH* I was reading this article this morning, and I found myself rolling my eyes more than usual. I mean, does anyone else see an opportunity here?

In summary (I know, I've written tons!), a group of American Christians had 315 Bibles confiscated at the airport, and they are refusing to leave China the airport (thanks to David, who kindly corrected my 6:30 am mind freeze -- chalk it up to early) until they get them back. Can I just ask the questions that are burning in my head? Thanks.
  • Do any of them need a Bible in their home in the U.S.?
  • Can any of them actually read Chinese (yes, the Bibles are in Chinese)?
  • Do they realize they're coming off as jerks?
  • Do they have no respect for authorities and laws that God has allowed to be in place?
  • Has anyone thought about the fact that maybe, just maybe, the customs agent who confiscated them wanted a Bible and didn't know how to get one?
  • Why are they asking for CHINESE law in ENGLISH? They're not likely to get it -- Chinese is the official language of China, folks.
  • Why do we need more Bibles in the U.S.?
I see a huge opportunity to leave Bibles in China -- God can do mighty things with those Bibles. Stupid Americans.

Anyone else?

14 August 2008

A bookish day

Yesterday was a good day in Brasil. We've got the week off (there's a tiny evangelism team here, but R is taking care of it) and so yesterday was reserved for lunch at the Outback and a trip to the movies to see "the new Batman."

Of course, between events we had to go to the bookstore (it's like a tractor beam pulls me in each time I walk by). I've been looking for classics that I haven't read yet (and/or should have read long before now), and I came across Anna Karenina. In English, not Portuguese. The fabulous bookstore here imports Barnes & Noble Classics, and they're not much more expensive than they are in the U.S. Price in dollars? $8.95. Price in reais? R$16,60. That's about $2 more than the price in dollars, if you convert it. But for a book in Brasil, that's really cheap, especially for a book that is 700+ pages and imported.

Anyway, I picked up the book, planning to buy it, and when I got to the counter, what did I discover? I had a bonus waiting for me. I had accumulated the required number of points on my loyalty card, and I got a R$15,00 discount! All said, I bought Anna Karenina for R$1,60, which is roughly $1. God bless discounts.

03 August 2008

I am tired. There is no other way to say it. No matter how much rest I get, I am always tired. I stayed at the hotel last week, and having to be with the team constantly drains my strength, no matter how great the team is. I love being able to come home and rest -- I am an introvert to the depths of my being. Not to mention the fact that I had family here and had to entertain them.

We have 4 more weeks of teams before our full month's rest in September, when we will be packing and escorting my mom around Minas Gerais (and buying more pewter).

God continues to bring to my mind Isaiah 40:31 -- "but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Being rejuvenated, renewing my strength, begins with sitting before the Lord and waiting on Him. My heavenly Father exudes strength, and He gives it freely, if I slow down enough to wait on Him. Do you know what it feels like to just sit with someone and be rejuvenated by their strength? I have friends who do that for me, some without knowing it. I am ready to get back to my regular schedule, now that I am at home, of sitting with God daily.

15 July 2008


One of our missionary colleagues who served in north Brasil (Belém, which is in the state of Pará) passed away last night. Please pray for the family she left behind -- not only her husband and five children (3 college-age boys and 2 pre-teen girls), but also her extended family in the US and her mission family here.

14 July 2008

Big Shady is coming into town on Thursday. She leaves Hunts-vegas on Wednesday night and will arrive on Thursday morning. Big Shady and I have had some fun times. There was that incident with the sign and that other incident with a random party that got me labeled shady. By Big Shady's mom. That was embarrassing.

I have been realizing lately how much I miss my best friend. We've been in different cities for 5 years now, but I've missed her more lately. I am ready to run around Rio with Shady. One of the highlights will be her meeting Little Shady, my friend who claims to be "just a little shady."

04 July 2008

A New Life

To my more than five, less than ten faithful readers (if you're reading and not commenting, send a comment my way):

As I make the transition from Brasil to the U.S. over the next few months, I will be making a blog transition as well. This site will continue to house goings-on from down here, whereas the new one will house postings and musings from this transition period forward.

The new site is here.